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British Airways sneaks out some interesting news on lounge refurbishments

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British Airways put out a press release yesterday announcing its ’20 New Year resolutions’.

I was tempted to delete it unread, obviously.  That would have been a mistake, however, as for some reason BA chose to slip out two new announcements among the 20 resolutions.

Lounge improvements for 2020

The first bit of ‘new news’ was about lounges.  British Airways has been sprucing up many of its lounges in recent years, with the most recent re-openings being Geneva, which I reviewed here (photo below), and San Francisco.  In general, they are doing a good job.

Lounge ‘refreshments’ for 2020 will be:

  • Heathrow
  • Edinburgh
  • Berlin

….. along with a re-designed Elemis Spa at New York JFK.

I’m not entirely sure what BA means by ‘refreshed’.  It clearly is not going to ‘refresh’ the lounge in Berlin, since the airport is scheduled to close on 8th November 2020!  I assume it means that there will be a brand new British Airways lounge at Berlin Brandenberg.

Similarly, I am not sure what ‘refreshing’ means in the context of Heathrow.  There are rumours of a lounge finally opening in Terminal 5C.  There is also, I believe, space available in Terminal 5A for the expansion of the South lounge complex.  On the other hand, ‘refresh’ might simply mean buying a few new sofas as happened with the Concorde Room recently.

Edinburgh is in need of a redesign.  It is a surprisingly large lounge but is now looking dated, and No 1, the two Aspire lounges and the forthcoming Clubrooms have raised the bar.

British Airways Geneva lounge

Concorde Teams expanding to more routes

The second bit of news related to the ‘Concorde’ teams, which is the rebranded ‘Special Services’ operation.  These are the senior British Airways staff on the ground who are available to Gold Guest List and Premier card holders and have additional powers to get things done for you when necessary.

From 2020, ‘Concorde’ teams will be situated in New York JFK, London Heathrow, Delhi, Los Angeles and Mumbai.

British Airways Concorde team

And the other 18 resolutions …..

Here are the other 18 New Year resolutions from British Airways, most of which we have covered already (or declined to cover!):

  1. New destinations – the airline has already announced nine new routes for 2020 including the Kosovan and Montenegrin capitals Pristina and Podgorica, Perugia in Italy, Antalya, Dalaman and Bodrum in Turkey, San Sebastián in Spain, Rhodes in Greece and Portland, Oregon, and it’s promising even more new destinations for customers to come.
  1. New aircraft – the airline is due to take delivery of more than 20 new aircraft in 2020, including 787-10s and A350s which are up to 40% more fuel efficient than the aircraft they replace.
  1. Club Suite – more aircraft will be flying with the airline’s new business class seat, Club Suite, which offers privacy via a suite door, 40% more storage space and a 1-2-1 layout with direct aisle access for all passengers.
  1. Caring for the environment – from January British Airways will be offsetting all its domestic flights, customers travelling further afield can offset their individual emissions. The airline will be making additional announcements about sustainability throughout the year.
  1. First – customers can expect to see more aircraft fitted with the airline’s newest First seat, currently available on its 787-9 aircraft.
  1. World Traveller comfort – in addition to enhancements made in 2019, customers travelling in the airline’s economy cabin will experience refreshed bedding.
  1. Designed by Savile Row tailoring expert Ozwald Boateng OBE, new uniforms for a new decade will be revealed.
  1. Food for thought – the airline is introducing new menus across its network thanks to new partnerships with gourmet caterers Do&Co at Heathrow and Newrest at Gatwick.
  1. Connectivity – the majority of eligible aircraft will be WiFi ready by the end of 2020.
  1. BA.com – expect a newly re-designed Manage My Booking experience enabling customers to navigate to information and services in a more intuitive way.
  1. Appy days – customers using the British Airways’ app will benefit from a slicker design and additional functionality improving the experience as they make and manage their bookings.
  1. Robots – British Airways is trialling new autonomous wayfaring robots at Heathrow to help customers navigate through the airport.
  1. 3D printing – the airline’s tech experts will continue their trial of printing non-essential aircraft parts like tray tables, to ensure flights are able to depart on time and without seats going out of service.
  1. Customer service training – thousands of British Airways’ airport hosts worldwide will receive additional training to provide a service that goes above and beyond expectations.
  1. Executive Club – the airline has committed to making continuous improvements to the Executive Club with new partners and exciting deals throughout the year
  1. Flying Start – British Airways celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its Flying Start charity which has so far raised more than £24m+ for good causes in the UK and overseas.
  1. Internships – from summer, British Airways will become the first UK airline to offer paid summer internships to future aviators.
  1. Documentary – customers will have the chance to watch the 2019 documentary about British Airways, British Airways Access All Areas, 24/7 on board long-haul flights.

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Comments (105)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • DavidB says:

    Too bad one of them wasn’t a significant reduction in award fees on BA flights.

  • Ronaldo says:

    i wonder if the increased competition to Bodrum will lower prices?

    hope so.

    no more rushing up to Luton airport to checking at 04.00am for a £400 peak time flight. (is that easytheft?)

  • Stuart says:

    OT as no bits.

    Anyone used the Waitrose Amex offer to buy a gift card in store and got the cash back?

  • Tom says:

    DavidB,

    Why would BA reduce the award fees when there is little award availability on most premium routes as it is?

    If people are willing to pay those fees then it makes the entire program more viable.

    Re the lounges it would be good to know the timetable for closing T5 lounges given how crowded they all are. Ideally they’d add a couple of new ones as hinted at.

  • Stephen says:

    Manchesters BA lounge needs a refresh and the staff some customer service training

  • Alex Sm says:

    Well, you never know about Berlin. The new one was supposed to open in 2012 and still not open. It may take another 8 years, so a refresh, not a full refurbishment, of BA lounge might still make sense

  • harry hv says:

    1. To improve our customer experience we will display the T5 departure-gates 2 hours ahead, allowing you time to find your way to the appropriate lounge
    2. To improve our loyalty program we will adopt the AA award-chart and harmonize with the AA award-surcharge levels
    3. To improve our service standards First and Business class passengers will be asked to “rate” their cabin crew interactively on the remote-control during the flight, to provide feedback on meal-services and crew helpfulness.
    4. To improve our customer experience the word “Conformance” will now be applied to the airline rather than the customers, covering items such as priority boarding, baggage delivery and prompt payment of EC261 compensation.
    5. To improve our customer experience we will redeploy those staff who check boarding passes at security. Rather than remaining seated and telling passengers that they’ve missed their flight after 35 minutes ahead, these staff will now get up and assist latecomers to make their way rapidly to the gate.

  • sunguy says:

    Well I for one just hope that Bacon Rolls FINALLY come to the Edinburgh Lounge ……for absolutely no reason they have never done it……!!!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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